Our school seeks the excellence in all of us. Students who have passed through our Junior School, and many others, will recognize this phrase from the SMUS Mission.
Fourteen years ago our school established the Hinton Chair, an opportunity to invite a teacher of proven excellence to come and teach at our school for one year, and spread his or her influence and example in our midst. The Chair is named in honour of Leslie Hinton. Leslie Hinton attended St. Michael’s School in Victoria, graduated from Cambridge University, and taught at Eton before being seconded to the Royal Navy because of his expertise with radar. He then returned to Victoria and taught at our School for 23 years. He is remembered by his students as a brilliant teacher.
Over the years we have had a variety of teachers fill this role in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, depending on where a vacancy arises as a result of a retirement, a leave of absence, or a maternity leave. Last year, the Hinton Chair holder was Jo Lunn, who came to us from Banff, Alberta, and taught Mathematics in the Middle School. Because we had no one-year absences on our radar last year at the time we normally advertise such positions, we do not have a Hinton Chair holder in the current school year. We are making up for it by appointing two Hinton Chair holders for the coming year, both in Senior English. We have two teachers on one-year leaves of absence next year in our Senior English Department: Terence Young and Susan MacDonald, both of whom will return for September, 2012. Here is some information about the two appointees for next year.
Glen Downey currently works in the Dufferin High School, in Shelburne, Ontario. Prior to that he taught at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. From 2001-2009 he worked at Appleby College, Oakville, Ontario, where he served as Literacy Coordinator, Writer in Virtual Residence, Curriculum Chair, and Co-Chair of the English Department. He is an award-winning author, mainly of children’s books, speaker and presenter at conferences. He has undergraduate degrees from University of Western Ontario and McMaster University, an MA from McMaster, and PhD from University of Victoria. He has a very active website at www.glendowney.ca. Glen will be coming to Victoria with his wife and three children for the year, having spent 6 years here while working on his PhD.
Susan Stenson currently teaches English at Claremont High School in Victoria, where she has taught since 1990 except for one year at United World College in Swaziland, South Africa. For a period of time she served as Head of English at Claremont. Her undergraduate and post-graduate degrees are from University of Victoria. Susan has published three collections of poetry, and is the winner of several National Canadian Poetry Contests 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, and 2010. Her students are perennial prize-winners in student writing competitions, and she is currently a nominee for the Prime Minister’s Teaching Award.
Our school seeks the excellence in all of us. Little is more important in this seeking than excellent teaching.